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Art History Program

School of Art and Design

College of Arts and Sciences

Georgia State University

Art History  



Kimberly Cleveland joined the Art History faculty of the School of Art & Design in 2008. She received her PhD in Art History from the University of Iowa, her MA in Art History from the University of New Mexico, and her BA in Spanish from Ithaca College. Dr. Cleveland is a specialist in modern and contemporary African and Latin American art. Her secondary areas of expertise are African-American art, Northern Baroque art, and Museum Studies. Before coming to GSU, she taught at the University of Iowa, and Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, IA. At GSU, Cleveland offers classes on the art and architecture of Africa.


Prof. Cleveland’s main research interests are modern and contemporary Afro-Brazilian art. Her doctoral dissertation entitled "New Center, Old Periphery: Race, Identity, and Regional Thematic Influences in Afro-Brazilian Art," explores Afro-Brazilian art through the lenses of African and Modern Latin American art history and features the work of Abdias do Nascimento, Ronaldo Rego, Eustáquio Neves, and Rosana Paulino. She is particularly interested in examining the implications and restrictions of the Afro-Brazilian artistic category in relation to national artistic production. Cleveland has been going to Brazil since 2003 and won a Fulbright fellowship for her doctoral research. Other research interests include connections between Afro-Brazilian art and international politics in the 1960s and 1970s and artwork from Lusophone Africa.


"Appropriation and the Body: Representation in Contemporary Black Brazilian Art." Journal of Black Studies 41(2): 301-319.

"Kehinde Wiley’s Brazil: The Past against the Future." In Kehinde Wiley The World Stage: Brazil, 23-30. Culver City, C.A.: Roberts & Tilton; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Museu de Arte Moderna, 2009.


Prof. Cleveland was the curator of the "Sleeping with the Leopard: African Art from Cameroon" exhibition held at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, IA Jan. 24 - June 28, 2009.


Detail of photography by Seydou Keita